The incidence and consequences of falls were investigated in three different types of Swedish geriatric care clinics: a geriatric rehabilitation clinic, a psychogeriatric clinic and a nursing home. Falls were prospectively registered by the nursing staff. The incidence rate (and 95% confidence interval) of falls per 10,000 patient days of the psychogeriatric clinic was 171 (146-196), compared with 92 (72-112) at the geriatric rehabilitation clinic, and 31 (22-41) at the nursing home. Most falls (62%) did not result in injury, while major injuries occurred in 5%. We conclude that accidental falls are a major problem in geriatric care in Sweden, but there is a considerable difference in incidence rates between different types of institutions.
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